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The Staffordshire bull terrier sunk its teeth into TJ Cathrae and his horse during a violent encounter on Camel Trail, a popular cycleway in Cornwall. TJ was out for a hack with wife Bethany when the dog broke free from its harness near the Wadebridge end of the trail.
But police have told the couple that in order to prosecute, they need independent witnesses to come forward.
That’s despite TJ suffering broken ribs, a swollen stomach and a jaw injury, and having had to take time off work to recover.
Speaking Cornwall Live, Bethany said: “On Thursday we went for a ride down the Camel Trail. We boxed the horses up and took them down there. We’d been out an hour and a half and were 10 minutes from getting back at the Wadebridge end of the trail.
“We passed a woman holding a dog who looked like she was struggling a bit. We gave them a wide berth and carried on as the dog kept barking. We got past them and then heard her call out ‘sorry’.
“I looked down and could see the dog had broken out of the harness and was launching itself at us.”
TJ then fell from the horse and went underneath it as the horse bolted. Bethany has described how the dog bit TJ’s face and repeatedly hung off his legs, tearing his t shirt and clothes to pieces in the process.
She added: “I was just screaming my head off as the dog kept coming back again and again. Eventually a lady on a bike got her bike between the horses and the dog and the dog must have got knackered and turned and left.
“The woman didn’t do anything apart from just standing there crying and saying that the dog doesn’t like people. She gave us her phone number but isn’t answering. If the dog doesn’t like people and animals it shouldn’t be out on a public trail.”
Bethany’s horses were left with cuts from the bites, but have been checked by a vet and luckily do not have any lasting injuries. However, they are subdued and quiet after being left shaken by the attack.
Bethany added: “I have nothing against staffies but the fact is that on this day this dog was out of control and it should never be around people again. In all the years I’ve been riding I have never experienced anything like this.”
Anyone who witnessed the incident should email [email protected] and contact details will then be passed on to Bethany.
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